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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Class of Higgins and Williams likely to tell in longer outings

Crucible favourites expected to should hold sway

Jack Lisowski kicked off his campaign with a run to the final of the Riga Masters
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Day eight
BBC and Eurosport, from 10am Saturday

Higgins v Lisowski 2.30pm
Jack Lisowski is currently a hot property in snooker and some observers reckon he is now capable of winning the Betfred World Championship.

He's certainly a danger to all, but after deservedly defeating Stuart Bingham 10-7 in the first round at the Crucible Theatre Lisowski faces a potentially tougher test against John Higgins.

Lisowski, 26, will have good reason for feeling positive after upsetting Higgins 6-2 in the recent China Open.

But Higgins may have been recharging his batteries in recent events with a view to being fresher for Sheffield and while the threat of Lisowski, who can score well, will be taken seriously it would not be a surprise to see the Cheltenham native afford the four-time Crucible king more opportunities this time around.

Higgins is 7-10 to make light of a 2.5-frame deficit on the handicap and that could be the way to go.

J Higgins -2.5 frames
1pt 7-10 Hills

M Williams v Milkins 7.30pm
Mark Williams is understandably all the rage for his last-16 clash with Rob Milkins, but the outsider has been scoring well and merits respect.

It's likely that the smooth-as-silk Williams, victorious this season in the 6 Red World Championship, Northern Ireland Open and German Masters, will float into the quarter-finals.

But Milkins has won three of their eight meetings so has an opportunity to make a nuisance of himself.

Milkins has tended to perform on his emotions down the years and maintaining his current achievement level could get more difficult for the Gloucester cueman as the tournament goes on.

But he outscored the inconsis­tent Neil Robertson 118-2 in terms of 50-ups – total break points scored above 50 – in his Crucible opener and things are generally going well for Milkins.

However Williams, who did not need long to pull away from Jimmy Robertson in a bloodless opening 10-5 triumph, is the class act in this one and preference is for siding with the favourite to successfully concede his opponent a handicap start of 3.5 frames.

M Williams -3.5 frames
1pt 8-15 Betway, Paddy Power

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It would not be a surprise to see Lisowski afford four-time Crucible king Higgins more opportunities this time
E.W. Terms
Sky bet